Exit Through the GIF Shop

There Is a Silent, Feature Length Film Made Entirely of GIFs and It’s Transcendental

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The .GIF has taken over the Internet. Once the purview of Geocities sites and cheap Internet 1.0 shenanigans, they’ve made a Renaissance as a form of humor and communication in Tumblr posts, Buzzfeed listicles and ways to express our existential dread — they even have their own search engine.

This past Sunday, in a packed screening room in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, filmmakers Eric Fleischauer and Jason Lazarus showed the first feature length experimental gif documentary. The film, called twohundredfiftysixcolors, is a historical record of the gif-as-art-form from 1987 to 2013 as told by the medium’s strangest, most viral practitioners. The team behind twohundredfiftysixcolors spent years putting the film together, collecting the gifs by putting out open calls, contacting artists and building a database of over 3000 gifs organized by similar aesthetic themes. Read More

Q&A

Fap Happy: A Word From the Folks Who Collect Porn GIFs For a Living

Here's a really fun infographic they shared with us.

From “Chief Happiness Officer” to “Chief Curator at eBay,” the tech industry is riddled with bizarre-sounding job titles — and we here at Betabeat love figuring out what they all actually mean. 

A recent Recode story called “Go West, Young Men” profiled a bunch of migrant techies working in the “Dojo” — a coworking space run by cryptocurrency miner Dave Grossblatt. The story undisputedly had two break-out stars: Raj and Chris, The Worst Drug’s (link NSFW) two “GIF Porn Scrapers.”

Curious about what it could actually mean to be a “GIF Porn Scraper,” we interviewed Raj, Chris and their coworker Katie (all of whom asked to go by their first names).  Read More

Gif It To Me

GIFHell Proves Twitter’s ID Is Dominated Largely By One Direction

Hmm.

Good news: There’s now a way to see inside the fluttering heart of Twitter. Bad news: You’ll find mostly barely legal hunks, randomness, and the occasional spot of porn.

Over the weekend, AllThingsD reports, developer/Redditor Adam Wentz created GifHell.com as a weekend project. It draws on Twitter’s API to produce a never-ending flood of GIFs, whichever are the most popular on the service at any given moment. Read More

Linkages

Booting Up: No One Will Listen to the Inventor of the GIF About Pronunciation

Nope.

Could our culture be any more saturated with hackathons? Now even the publishing business has latched onto them. [The Atlantic]

The creator of the GIF insists it’s pronounced “jif,” and no one will listen to him, not even the Oxford English Dictionary. Also, the dancing baby is still one of his favorites. [New York Times]

The immigration reform bill is headed to the Senate floor, which means FWD.us finally racked up a victory, of sorts, instead of just accumulating bad press for throwing the Alaskan caribou under the bus. [AllThingsD]

Microsoft just debuted a new Xbox, in case you were wondering what your spoiled nephew would be demanding for Christmas this year. [Wired]

Moving Pictures

Ring in the New Year With a Livestream of the Times Square Ball Drop — and also GIFs!

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Back in November, Livestream partnered with Tumblr for a “live-GIFing” of the final presidential debate. Seems the experiment was successful enough for a return engagement: The company’s bountiful stream of coverage tonight from Times Square will include not just the usual interviews and musical performances, but also GIFs. Glorious GIFs!

This officially solidifies 2012’s place in the Internet history books as the year even your 80-year-old nana learned what “those little moving pictures” were. Read More

Gif It To Me

GIF Beats Out YOLO to Become the Oxford American Dictionary’s 2012 Word of the Year

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2012, it seems, is the year the GIF finally receives the recognition it deserves. Long had the short animated images languished on 4chan and Reddit before transitioning over to Tumblr and BuzzFeed. 2012 was the year of the reaction GIF blog, where everyone from law students to editors filled Tumblrs with GIFs meant to capture (and laugh at) the human condition. Then came an avant-garde form of election coverage, where stables of live-GIFers fought with Photoshop to bring their devoted audiences the funniest, most compelling GIFs of the presidential candidates.

Now, the GIF has received the ultimate sign of zeitgeisty approval: “GIF” (the verb) is officially the Oxford American Dictionaries’ 2012 word of the year. Read More

Exit Through the GIF Shop

An Evening of Debate and GIF-Making, With Tumblr and Livestream

Gif maestro. (Photo: via Livestream)

Monday night, Betabeat headed downtown for a new twist on presidential debate punditry. Rather than merely wisecracking, drinking or even live-blogging, Internet types assembled for something new this election cycle: a “live GIF off” of the proceedings, arranged by Tumblr and Livestream.

Our destination was 111 8th Avenue, most famously Google’s New York HQ but also the home to Livestream, our hosts for the evening. Normally an office, the space had been transformed into a multimedia hub, with screens scattered throughout, streaming feeds from both the debate and (so meta) the event itself. Read More

Gif It To Me

Michael Stipe Is Now The Simon Cowell Of GIFs

(Photo: vimeo.com)

Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and Mariah Carey have all taken brief pauses in their pop careers to now become reality show judges on The X FactorThe Voice, and American Idol, respectively. Although it’s not for a reality show, another 90’s icon, Michael Stipe, is getting in on the judging game.

He’s been elected to join the selection committee for “Moving The Still,” which of course is the world’s first GIF’s-only arts festival. The event is being put on by Tumblr as well as the art collection site, Paddle8, and will take place during Miami Art Week from December 4th to the 9th. Read More